Microsoft has established the Center for Information Work (CIW), a prototype facility that showcases Microsoft’s vision of the future of computing in the office.  This article brings readers the highlights of an hour-long tour that places participants in the role of managers and workers in an imaginary multinational and shows them the growing role of technology in the office of the future.  The new technology begins at the front door with biometric security access complete with both faceprint and fingerprint recognition.

Some of the remarkable features participants then are confronted with:

  • Broadbench – a display of information that wraps around the user with 180 degrees of vision.
  • A 360 degree videoconferencing camera that recognizes and focuses on whoever is speaking.
  • Tablet PCs that wirelessly link conference room participants, participants in an airplane [also represented in the CIW] and the cab of a delivery truck.
  • Instantaneous inventories identified by radiofrequency tags.

CIW presents a truly global workplace of the future that allows managers to organize, grind and track information faster and more completely than ever before.

Source: OfficePro; Aug/Sep, 2005

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